Garden mosaics

Rosa 'All Ablaze' blazes cherry red in Burke Brothers' Tuscany exhibit, accenting classic Italian elements with bright flowers. (Ron Tarver / Staff photographer)

Can't work in the garden these days, but for Barbie Henig, that's no matter. She does her mosaics for the garden and other outdoor uses year-round. This is the number '7' for her street address. She collects beach glass, old dishes and pottery for her creations, smashing or cutting them into smaller pieces, attaching them to a surface - rock, tile, BOWLING BALL, terra cotta pot - with adhesive and filling in the spaces with grout. Her designs are sometimes spontaneous, more often thought or sketched out ahead of time and then put into place. Barbie has a fulltime job in Center City but mosaics fill the rest of her "spaces" and time. She teaches at Tyler Arboretum and other places around the region, and she's the subject of a story I'm working on now for later this month. Visiting her and seeing firsthand her excitement for recasting old objects into beautiful objets was a great way to welcome in a new year on the job.